One Direction star Liam Payne joined his band-mates on stage in Columbus last night as they kicked off the latest leg of their massive “On The Road Again” world tour. It’s pretty clear that Liam’s day did not end in the way he would have wished. Payne was subjected to a barrage of comments claiming that he was homophobic as a result of a short clip of video published on the internet by a concert goer.
Payne is a 21-year-old heterosexual male who has been in a relationship with his girlfriend Sophia Smith for the past couple of years. Payne has on numerous occasions demonstrated his generosity and philanthropy through his support for charities. The Daily Mail reported just last week Liam paid $75,000 to have his face painted to help raise funds for children with terminal illnesses. Payne and his band-mates have spoken out in support of gay fans on numerous occasions and they have supported LGBT charities in the very recent past.
Despite all evidence to the contrary Payne has been accused of being homophobic as a result of a comment he made during One Direction’s show last night. According to the Mirror Liam was introducing a song when he made a comment that some people took offense to.
“This is my favorite song off the last album, and it is about trying to find that number one woman of your life, which none of you can relate to, ’cause most of you are girls. Except for the boys in here, you know what I’m talking about.”
The Daily Mail report that Payne was unhappy at being labelled homophobic. Liam could perhaps have chosen his words more carefully. Payne’s choice of words are perhaps exclusionary in that they assume that all members of the audience are heterosexual, but that does not make him homophobic. The Independent report that one fan took to Twitter to remind Liam that girls can like girls too.
@Real_Liam_Payne you should really acknowledge the fact that what you said was homophobic girls can like girls liam ur better than this— ~bby beansprout~ (@pinkiezain) August 19, 2015
Payne did not take the comments lying down and took to Twitter to mount a robust defense denying that he was in any way homophobic.
I am in no way shape or form homophobic that’s a ridicules thing to say and I’m not here to offend people so take it as you will
— Liam (@Real_Liam_Payne) August 19, 2015
Liam claimed that he was simply trying to make people happy, but all people want to talk about is a throw away comment he made introducing a song.
And all some people want to concentrate on was a throw away statement about a song that I love— Liam (@Real_Liam_Payne) August 19, 2015
Despite Payne’s comments, he was subjected to a barrage of accusatory comments and eventually posted an apology.
“I’m sorry to those I offended really I am but there’s no need for some of the things I’m being called.”
“I’m just here to make people smile I kinda consider it my job role.”
So annoying trying your hardest to make people happy in a show and you think about all the notes u tried to hit higher or a little sweeter— Liam (@Real_Liam_Payne) August 19, 2015
It seems that Payne, like so many others, does not just have to contend with haters and internet trolls. Liam and other celebrities now also have to contend with those “keyboard warriors” who seem to have nothing better to do than to search the social media feeds of celebrities like Payne looking for something to be offended by.
Liam Payne made a poor choice of words. It does not make Payne homophobic.
[Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]